It seems to me that is has been forever since the Vancouver Canucks played a playoff game and I guess it has with almost 10 full days off since knocking off the St. Louis Blues in four straight. I even felt my interest in the NHL Playoffs slowly drifting as some of the other series dragged on for the full 7 games. Tuesday I caught most of the final two games of the first round watching Washington polish off the New York Rangers (thank god, no more Sean Avery) and Carolina take care of New Jersey in their 7th game. While I wasn’t overly interested in either of these match-ups I do admit that I watched as I was interested in seeing who would be matched up in the second round. Now that the games are set I thought I’d offer my predictions for round two.

Western Conference

Detroit Red Wings vs. Anaheim Ducks (prediction Wings in 6)
I make my prediction based on Chris Osgood’s play in the first round, if it continues the Wings are tough to beat, if not good-bye Detroit. I also think Anaheim takes too many penalties on a nightly basis which you simply cannot do against the Detroit power play. Having said that, the Ducks are still a strong enough opponent to make this series go beyond 4 games.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks (prediction Canucks in 5)
Without trying to be too much of a “homer”, I really think with Vancouver’s defensive play, lead of course by Luongo, and a strong core of defenseman and forwards who can play at both ends of the rink that it will be too much for the young Hawks team. You also have to give Vancouver the edge in experience and along with home ice advantage I don’t believe this series will go much past 5 games.

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes (prediction Bruins in 4)
I don’t believe Carolina was the better team in the first round (against New Jersey) and now faces a Bruins team that is well rested after a sweep of Montreal. The Bruins have home ice advantage for the rest of the playoffs, with San Jose being eliminated, and are big, offensively talented, and have a Vezina trophy finalist in goal.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals (prediction Penguins in 7)
This should be a great match up with the Capitals star player, Alexander Ovechkin going up against the Penguins star player Sidney Crosby, or is it Evgeni Malkin, or is it Jordan Staal – you get the point, Pittsburgh is loaded with young talent. This series will come down to two young goaltenders, but I believe Marc-Andre Fleury has more experience which should carry the Pens into the next round.

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